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motd.tail - Template for building the system message of the day
On Debian systems, the system message of the day is rebuilt at each startup, in order to display an accurate information. /etc/motd.tail is the file to edit permanent changes to the message of the day.
The initiation script /etc/init.d/bootlogs prepends a line containing information about the system to /etc/motd.tail and stores the resulting file in /var/run/motd. /etc/motd is a symbolic link to /var/run/motd. This is done to prevent changes to /etc as the system can not assume /etc to be writable. Changes to /etc/motd effectively end up in a file under /var/run which will be regenerated upon reboot. A symbolic link to a different file, such as /etc/motd.static disables this behaviour.
/etc/init.d/bootlogs The initiation script which builds /var/run/motd /etc/motd Symbolic link to the system message of the day at /var/run/motd /etc/motd.tail Template for building the system message of the day /var/run/motd System message of the day file rebuilt at each computer start